December 22, 2016
Last week, Donald Trump was supposed to have held his first proper press conference in five months. But then the event was put off; his aides now talk vaguely about holding it early in the New Year. It being merely a case of battle deferred, not battle avoided.
If one theme of the next four years already seems set, it is that of conflict between the 45th president and the media – yes the hoary old mainstream media, fighting off countless new challengers to be sure, but which still sets America’s real news agenda.
The sheer novelty of the situation will make the conflict more intense. Trump is a President-elect who has defied every standard rule of politics, who said and did things that would have destroyed any normal candidate, but not him. He gives every sign of continuing that way in the Oval Office.
We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2016
Ditto his attitude to the media. On the campaign trail he constantly trashed them, referring to them in terms like “scum” and “scavengers” at the mass rallies that were his favoured electoral events. News organisations whose coverage offended his fragile sensibilities abruptly lost their credentials, or were threatened by lawsuits.
And that’s only one reason the media are feeling jittery. Another is that they’ve never faced a president who so instinctively understands them, and how to manipulate them. Every now and them he abruptly makes nice with the “scum” and “scavengers” – as well he might, having secured $2bn worth of free press coverage during the primaries, according to a study by the New York Times.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 10:03 am